To truly get a feel for Laredo’s El Capataz botanas and drinks restaurant, you first have to understand the meaning of “capataz.” A capataz is a person who is in charge of leading difficult tasks like a boss or a supervisor. In Mexican telenovelas, the capataz is the person who makes sure the hacienda runs smoothly for everyone. This is the heart of Laredo’s El Capataz, which prides itself on “taking daily charge of preparing fantastic food and drinks and serving guests for their time spent here.”

The El Capataz kitchen is run by Laredo native Roberto Gonzalez who earned his bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Promotion and Computer Science from DePaul University before he pursued his passion for the culinary arts at the New England Culinary Institute. Working at various resorts and high-profile restaurants to hone his talents, he opened Tabernilla Bar de Tapas in 2016 before taking over the El Capataz kitchen.

Gonzalez has taken the El Capataz menu to the next level with a variety of specialty cocktails and pub food inspired by Southern Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean. Two of the most popular dishes on the menu are the El Capataz Burger and the 3-Hour Prime Rib. The burger is a half-pound of Angus beef topped with chorizo melted Swiss cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and marinated onions with a side of Mexa fries. The 3-Hour Prime Rib is a dry spice marinated and slow-roasted prime rib served with fresh horseradish sour cream and garlic-scented parsley fries. Other popular dishes include the Crispy Shrimp Albondigas and the Taquitos Mar de Cortez.

When it comes to botanas and desserts, El Capataz raises the bar! The Prime Rib Cocktail includes Chicharon-style prime rib chunks mixed with beer stewed roasted vegetables and topped with crispy shallots, avocado, and cilantro. The Fries “Bien Cargadas” is another favorite and takes fries to a new level—skin-on fries, diced chicken breast, melted cheese, diced tomato, pepper-bacon, green onions, jalapeno, and cilantro served with spicy cilantro-ranch and crema Mexicana!

At the end of your meal, be sure to treat your taste buds to El Capataz’s dessert menu. The Choco Chela is at the top of the list since it combines a unique and delicious blend of Guinness stout beer and milk chocolate ice cream! The Ahogado is another must and combines espresso and Kahlua topped with vanilla ice cream and cinnamon!